21 January 2013, Monday, 12:20

Direct air traffic will be opened between cities of Volga federal district

author: Arina Rakhimkulova

At present time the project on development of regional air traffic is about to be implemented in Volga federal district, the Plenipotentiary of the President of Russia in Volga federal district Michael Babich stated at a meeting in Samara. The Plenipotentiary has also reported that the Chairman of Russian Government Dmitry Medvedev signed the decree concerning subsidizing of air transport organizations with the purpose to provide accessibility of internal regional air transportations in Volga federal district in 2013. This document is considered the base for beginning of the pilot project for development of regional air traffic in Volga federal district.

“Our project includes several innovations and though similar subsidized programs were developed in other Russian regions the first principal difference of our program is that we remove all age restrictions from the future passengers and it means that all categories of citizens can make use of these preferences. Our main aim is to provide the opportunity of mobile transportation to the biggest economic centers of the country, including the centers, concentrated in Volga federal district too. We begin to develop the financial model, according to what the passengers pay just 50% of the ticket cost: 25% are covered by federal budget and other 25% — by regional one. Beginning from April 1, 2013, we get the official right to start flying and receive the subsidies” – Michael Babich explained.

The contest for the choice of the general carrier and the sub-contractors, providing the network of regional routes will be one ore novelty. This contest will be held by the Federal Air Transport Agency centrally.

Citizens of Volga federal district were for a long time waiting for the chance to fly from one region of Volga federal district to another, avoiding Moscow airports.

“More than one fifth of population of the whole of Russia lives in Volga federal district and at that just 7% of citizens of Russia use air traffic and in Volga federal district this number is even lower. We can watch the drop of regional air traffic by 50 times for the last 30 years on the territory of Volga federal district. About two million people flew that time. Now regional routes serve just about 41 thousand people. We hope that our project will cardinally improve the current situation with regional air traffic and expect that the number of passengers will increase approximately five times, thus reaching 150-170 thousand people in 2013” — Minister for transport of Russia Maxim Sokolov said.

The project, worked up in Volga federal district, will contribute to development of local economics and to the rise of investment attractiveness of the regions, located in Volga federal district. Besides, producers of Russian aircrafts will get additional incentives for designing new models of Russian regional aircrafts.

“The main goal of the project is to show the air companies that the state starts seriously working with regional aviation and thereby makes long-term conditions for state support and for formation of the market of regional air traffic. Thereby, the state will stimulate Russian industry and air companies to design, produce and purchase Russian-made aircrafts” – the Plenipotentiary stated.